Lavender & Honey.

I wasn’t actually going to bake this week until I realised the next bake I’m doing will be a wedding cake! So I wanted to make sure I was feeling confident doing it. I decided to give the top tier a go as I am using lavender in this recipe and know how difficult a flavour it can be to get right! It’s a very strong flavour and I wanted it to be delicate, but noticeable. Luckily 1/4 tsp was the perfect amount for this recipe!

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I also wanted to practice doing the ‘naked’ style icing again, as I’ve only done it twice before. I’ve been watching a few videos on how to do it and people seem to use more icing that I thought, so I gave this a go. I can see a huge improvement in my technique and outcome, so I can’t wait to do it again! Definitely need to get myself a turn table to make life a bit easier though.

The final decoration of this bake is different to how it will look on the big day as I will only be doing the chocolate drips on part of the cakes and not all the way around. It will also be decorated with a lot more flowers and a cake topper! The sprigs of lavender I actually got walking home (don’t fret, I washed them.)

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I’ve been doing a lot of hours in the care home because I had my last ever bursary payment last month! Me and A have also booked a holiday for October so I want to be able to enjoy ourselves fully, and to contribute to spending money. Bills also don’t pay themselves. I’m trying not to get too stressed out, or involved in arguments at work etc. Care is a hard job, so I think getting stressed or having disagreements with other members of the team is pretty commonplace. But I’ve been working on just staying cheery and not letting it bother me. A resident even called me “a ray of sunshine!”

Unfortunately I am still hunting for a registered nurse jobs, but to look at it positively? It’s likely I will have Christmas off. Christmas is my favourite time of the year. It is full of warm fuzziness and nurturing. Working in healthcare usually means working either Christmas or New Year. I’ve never really been bothered about New Year so I’m going to be that annoying person that requests Christmas off every year!

Reconnecting with friends/partners is such a lovely thing isn’t it? I’ve been amazed at how easily it can be done. Just spending some time with someone can really boost my mood, and makes me cherish that relationship even more.

Anyway, here’s how I made my lavender and honey cake!

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Cake

150g Sugar

50g Honey

250g Plain Flour

2 Large Eggs

200g Butter

1/4 tsp Lavender essence

2 tsp Baking Powder

Preheat a fan assisted oven to 130 degrees Celsius. Grease a deep 15cm cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the honey and mix well.

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One at a time add the eggs, mixing well each time. Keep the mixer on and gradually add the flower and baking powder. Once the mix is pale and fluffy add the lavender essence and mix well.

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Bake for 120 – 140 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack (finally got myself one of those!).

Icing

225g Butter

370g Icing Sugar

1/4 tsp Lavender Essence

100g Dark Chocolate

Whisk the butter first for a few minutes until it becomes soft. Gradually add the icing sugar, I used the guard on my stand mixer to stop sugar going everywhere.

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Add the lavender essence and keep whisking for a few minutes until it becomes pale. Transfer into a piping bag.

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Cut the cake into four separate slices. Pipe a layer of icing onto the first cake layer, letting some spill over the sides.

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Put the next slice of cake on top and repeat the process for all four layers. Smooth the sides, I used this plastic square thing (technical name is….?) which worked really well and gave a clean finish to the look! Make sure the top of the cake is really smooth.

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Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and transfer into a piping bag. Poor a thin layer of chocolate directly on the top of the cake, encourage it to come over the sides to create the drips. And tah-dah!

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The lighting in my flat is really awful so my photos don’t always come out as I want them to. I sometimes find using my phone is easier as it automatically does adjusts the exposure and it’s easier to edit them! There also isn’t the risk of blurry photos. However, the process of using my actual DSLR is really therapeutic for me, and I feel like I am doing things properly.

 

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